Colds-in-the-Head are a frightful handicap to columns and courses. But really one just has to have one. It's being done. Colds and moral turpitude are quite the thing, positively the dernier cri. So this column must suffer--from a Cold-in-the-Head. That and the asperin which goes with it. Funny thing, asperin. Asperin plus Irene Bordoni makes "Mmmmm--Do I Love you?" rob the brain of any efficiency what so ever. But probably some one will think this is polyphonic prose or a time table and get something out of it, so after all what of it?
Yet through the shades and other extraneous hangings of my mental cameras I did for a moment see light. And revealed by the light was, if not one of nature's noblemen, at least a child artist worthy to write another "Janitor's Boy". For out in Revere where thrills are thunderbolts and in the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns foolish Lillian Sidney Serota has arisen to proclaim her muse. In a recent edition of the Boston Traveller--to use the style affected by my friends in the next column--Lillian does her stuff, to the extent of one story, "The Eternal Triangle". And it is really worth mentioning, worth even more than mentioning. For Lillian's muse is equal the fiddling flair of Maine's minstrel of the bobbed haired wife. It prefaces a return to the casual in contemporary letters and, more than that, reminds me of the Marks' remark about the Revere Beach of yesterday, the Coney Island of today.
The Freudian shows early in this tale of triumph, for the opening paragraph opens as follows. "When Bobbie Keaton came to Harvard, he dreamt nightly of a little gold football decorated with a crimson "H". The three things which Bobbie particularly liked were Audrey Parker, football, and a much used grimy pipe." Here, gentlemen, is also revealed, though I might let you guess--the eternal triangle. Evidently longevity is promised Audrey as well as football. But such minor errors cannot blot the heroic vigor of the plot structure. That Bobbie did not bother with the freshman team matters very little. Revere artists like Lillian are often careless of detail (Ed. note. This means nothing?) But, as I said of moral turpitude or was it colds--what of it?
For Lillian includes bits of description worthy Homer at his blindest--to wit. "The pipe was a decrepit article, smudged duskily and he cherished it like the family jewels," and this almost transcendental athletic episode. "The second quarter saw the ball see-saw in the center of the field with both sides striving savagely but vainly to advance it. . . . At a nod from the coach, Bobbie, his face beaming, pranced on to the gridiron." Then this domestic touch to add antithesis or something which deserves a paragraph.
"That evening, the game won, a man's supper eaten, Bobbie and Audrey were driving slowly along the Fenway. The air was clear and the harvest moon rode overhead. Audrey slid across the seat and laid her cheek against his sleeve."
"Oh, Bobbie," she said, "I can't believe it's true."
"Neither can I", came the answer; "I almost went down once!"
"I saw that and prayed and prayed and prayed. Oh! How hard I prayed!"
"Yes," he went on, "but just as I was about to fall I thought of something, and it seemed to give me new strength."
"Do tell me, please; what was it?"
"My pipe," he said, his eyes, twinkling.
Colds in the head are a frightful handicap to columns and courses. So this column must suffer. But "airy, fairy Lillian"? She rather helped, what? Gentlemen, shall we join the ladies? I mean, after all, what of it?